As an organisation we have embraced the ‘15 steps challenge’ programme from the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement.

The purpose of 15 steps is to remind us all that our patients are the most important people in our hospitals. They are not an interruption to our work: they are the very purpose of it. They are not outsiders in our hospitals: they are the heart and soul of our hospitals.

15 steps is all about putting our patients first and viewing the ward and care environment from the patient’s perspective. Our teams of senior matrons organise impromptu visits to our wards and departments right across the Trust and feed back to both frontline teams and the board on their first impressions within ‘15 steps’ of walking onto a ward .

The programme is now well established and has provided valuable feedback to ward teams both in terms of compliance against national standards, but also in giving our frontline teams confidence in interacting with people who are coming in to assess their working environment.

15 steps is about empowering our people to lead from the frontline, to take ownership of their own care environments and have pride in making sure that every single person who comes onto their ward – whether it’s a patient, relative or carer – receives a warm welcome.